Caux Round Table Publishes Very Timely and Important Book on Integrity and Leadership in Business

I am very excited to announce that the Caux Round Table has just published on Amazon a new book, Integrity in Business and Society, authored by our colleague, Klaus Leisinger.  We are especially honored that Klaus gave us permission to publish his book.  Integrity in Business and Society is one of the very best books I have read on business ethics.  It provides an intellectually astute and experientially confirmed theoretical foundation for moral capitalism.

To make Klaus’ ideas available to readers around the world, especially students in business programs and line managers, we have priced it at $15.00 (USD), while the Kindle version is $9.99 (USD).  Most business books and especially academic books on ethics are much more expensive.  I am trusting that many potential readers are price sensitive and so will be eager to buy Klaus’s book.

You can buy the book here.

Since the age of 14, Klaus has worked, first as an unskilled helper in a mail-order house and later as an unskilled laborer in a house building.  He later worked in soap production and road construction and then as a truck driver.  It was all heavy and partly dirty work and always poorly paid.  But then, how else could he pay his way in life?

Klaus told me he learned one important lesson: whenever a supervisor was kind and respected the dignity of the employees and workmen, they were happier doing their work and time passed faster than under conditions where the bosses were rude, abusing their power to press out the last drop of energy.

Later, when a student, Klaus, by chance, met Samuel Koechlin, the CEO of Geigy.  Koechlin was an enlightened, open-minded person and asked that Klaus come by his office.  Koechlin told him that a good company needs unorthodox thinking and gave him the task for his next semester holidays to write a business policy for Africa.  Next, Koechlin asked Klaus to write a corporate policy for the developing world.  In 1974, the board of the now-merged Ciba-Geigy, accepted a “third world policy” stipulating a special responsibility of those who have broader shoulders and deeper knowledge.

For Ciba-Geigy, Klaus chose pharmaceuticals and spent 4 years as CEO of the regional pharma office in Nairobi, being responsible for Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and Mauritius.  Daily, he confronted absolute poverty, unnecessary sickness and human misery, but also the absolute necessity to earn a profit for his employer.  Working under those conditions taught Klaus that business enterprises can do much more than being financially successful if and when corporate leaders want to.  Businesses can be a force for good for the poorest half of the world’s population and for sustainable development.

With some emotion, Klaus once told me that if there is a will of enlightened business leaders to use corporate knowledge, skills, as well as products and services also for those being left behind, if those leaders are willing to build bridges across to people of goodwill closeted in other societal silos, then business can help solve complex problems we are faced with.

Here are my thoughts on why you should buy Klaus’ book:

Klaus Leisinger’s book is for you, personally.  Klaus makes operational high concepts and deep wisdom.  Perhaps his most important contribution to our finding success and meaning in life is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  As Shakespeare put it: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that ….”

Here is what you can learn from his book:

Chapter 1: Trust

Lack of trust leads to troubles and losses.  Building trust leads to success and well-being.  Creating trust is how you stand up to volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA).

Chapter 2: Semantic Clarity

Where do morals start and ethics begin?   Morality can be mapped as the norms we follow or don’t follow.  What are the norms of your communities: family, religious congregation, workplace, political party, ethnic heritage, nation?

Ethics is how we think about norms – indifferently, badly, or with excellence. And who does your thinking about ethics – you or those you follow?
And where are values?  What are the specific ideas and ideals which guide your behaviors and shape decisions?

Chapter 3: The Question of Ethics

This chapter is one-stop shopping to learn about ethics.

Ethics is the bridge between the ideal and the real.  It demands knowledge of facts, good judgment about the future and an understanding of causation – what will happen if I do “x?”

Great thinkers have given advice on how to cross this bridge and unite the real with an ideal – Aristotle; Immanuel Kant; Adam Smith; the Catholic Church in its social teachings; Karl Jaspers; Hans Kung; Jurgen Habermas; John Rawls; and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

There are bridge crossings seeking to do one’s duty or seeking to make the world better, arising from our personal character or just trying to be a good person, responding to the immediate, in all its complexity and uncertainty.

We need ethics at the level of action – do it now – and at the level of order – systems and institutions – that attempt to screen out the unethical and draw their members closer to the ethical.

The best way forward is for you to get to the heart of the matter: treat others decently, respectfully and mindfully, just as you expect to be treated by them.

Chapter 4: Division of Labor

Think intentionally about who has what responsibilities, rights and duties.  An organization is an arrangement of offices – positions of trust, not a gaggle of self-seeking opportunists.  Every office has ethical responsibilities.  What you might ask is is the “office” of a company or of the state?  Do individuals, by the way, have their own “offices?”  Fairness in the creation and arrangement of offices leads to greater success in collaboration and getting good results.  This is where governance has its place.

Chapter 5: Levels of Responsibility

Priorities must be set – some things are more important than others.  Some things “must” be done.  Others “should” be done and still other matters “can” be done if we really want to or just act on a whim or with very good intentions to go above and beyond the call of duty. Achievement must follow from purpose and some purposes are better than others.  You need a warm heart and a cool head.

Chapter 6: Relationships with Stakeholders

Dialogue ethics and discourse drive win/win relationships with stakeholders.  Enlightened people talk with others about differing perceptions of reality, different value hierarchies and different interests.  Dialogue and engagement provide intelligence as to what the future has in store for you.  Who are your primary stakeholders?  Who is secondary?  Who is tertiary?  Are claimants for company attention and solicitude legitimate stakeholders or are they just making waves?

Chapter 7: Character and Personality

People decide what is right, so the character of those who hold office drives the course of events. Character is the arena wherein ethics lives or dies.  The character of being able to trust and, in turn, of being trustworthy; the character to assume responsibility and not pass the buck; and the character to care and show respect brings ethics into its proper place in decision-making and policy.  Character builds culture and culture builds character.  You can’t have one without the other.

Chapter 8: The Business Case

Go beyond the legal minimum.  Think big and reach out to others.  Show goodwill.  In business, being good does not bring market success if it is not aware of and responsive to conditions and to reality.  Integrity is holistic.  Its ethical stance finds a fitness for good intentions with the environment.  However, raising the ethical quality of business decisions does, on the whole, have positive effects on sales and profits; scandals are avoided; returns are reliable.  Employee commitment seems directly correlated to the company’s ethical culture, its purpose and the values it rewards.

Please buy Klaus’s book and then, after you’ve read it, let Klaus and I know what you think.

Again, you can purchase it here.

Give to the Max Day in Minnesota: Financially Support the Caux Round Table

The work of the Caux Round Table on moral capitalism and moral government is global, but with impacts on national and local communities everywhere.  We all struggle every day to earn our daily bread and manage the materialism of our existential imperatives and our personal desires; with living rightly or wrongly; with challenges of governance – personal, family, communal and national.

With climate change upon us and a peaceful international order seemingly receding day by day, we need a reliable compass for our decision-making.

The global network of the Caux Round Table seeks to provide reliable and relevant comments and recommendations on getting the best we can from wealth creation and public governance.

Our monthly newsletter, Pegasus, and our regular commentaries are the platform which distributes our thinking and links our network together in common purpose.

Please support our work with a donation via the Give to the Max website here in Minnesota.

You can also contribute by PayPal, check or wire transfer.  Our mailing address is 75 West Fifth Street, Suite 219, St. Paul, MN 55102.  To donate by wire transfer, please respond to this message for instructions.

We are grateful for your interest, for sending to us your ideas, concerns and reflections and we are thankful for your financial assistance.

September Pegasus Now Available!

Here’s the September issue of Pegasus.

First is an article from Richard Van Scotter about education being necessary if we are to understand the subtleties of life and the skills for holding the office of citizen.

Next, we include two short book reviews, one on Amazon and the other on Facebook.

Lastly, we have a collection of cartoons meant to bring meaning and humor to some of today’s important issues.  We hope they serve as discussion starters, suggesting points of view that can only be presented metaphorically

I would be most interested in your thoughts and feedback.

July Pegasus Now Available!

Here’s the July edition of Pegasus.

This issue is a deep dive into the human condition. Our contributors, Caux Round Table Fellows and Rich Broderick, Editor of Pegasus, from different perspectives converge on a common fact – our lives are bifurcated, simultaneously lived in different realms. One is the moral, the spiritual and the other material and practical.

Which one is real? The one in our minds or the one which we can touch?

Are there two realities which we intermediate or really only a single composite one, embracing different modes of being in the world?

I would be most interested in your thoughts and feedback.

New CRT Initiative: Monthly In-person Round Tables at Landmark Center

With the help of Zoom meetings, during the past year, the Caux Round Table (CRT) has, to an acceptable extent, successfully kept up the pace of situational engagement and contributing to thought leadership in most unusually circumstances. However, the dynamics of online round tables to me cannot replicate the quality of in-person discussions. The ideas and reflections seem more formal and there are fewer “ah hah” moments of insight and connection of dots as participants around the table easily engage in flowing exchanges and uninhibited contributions to the discernment process.

Thus, with the ending of restrictions on gatherings and meetings and with Landmark Center reopening to the public, we’ve scheduled a series of round tables for the last Tuesday of each month (except November) starting this month.

The proposed topic for consideration and its date are:

-“Infrastructure: A Public Good or Private Good? How Do We Get Value for Money?” Tuesday, June 29

-“Climate Change: What is the Problem? What is to Be Done and By Whom?” Tuesday, July 27

-“Social Media: Does Social Media Need a Code of Ethics?” Tuesday, August 31

-“Does Corporate Media Need a Code of Ethics?” Tuesday, September 28

-“The Financialization of Everything.” Tuesday, October 26

-“The New Racism: Normalizing a New Discourse Regime.” Date TBD

-“2021: The Year That Was.” Tuesday, December 28

These topics have been proposed as being worthy of reflection and deserving of sound intellectual analysis and policy recommendations. The topics implicate both caring for the common good and the CRT’s Principles for Business and Principles for Government.

All events will be held from 9:00 to 11:00 am in the Landmark Center in room 317.

Participation will be limited to 20 participants to allow for continued social distancing.

Registration fee is $10, which can be paid at the door.

To register for our June event on infrastructure, please email Jed at

If you would like to register for additional round tables now, please email Jed.

Appointment of New CRT Fellows

It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of three new fellows – Mary Gentile, Matt Bostrom and Richard Bents. We are honored to have their advice and assistance in our work of providing thoughtful reflections and practical metrics on securing a more moral capitalism and more moral government.

Each has provided unique and important insight into values and the role they play in our lives and institutions. As the Caux Round Table (CRT) focuses more and more on the moral sense in each of us, which provides the foundation for civilization, their advice and recommendations will be timely and very relevant to the challenges of our times.

Mary C. Gentile, Ph.D., is Creator/Director of Giving Voice to Values. Giving Voice to Values, a pioneering business curriculum for values-driven leadership, has been featured in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, McKinsey Quarterly, etc. and piloted in over 1,260 business schools and organizations globally. She authored the award-winning book Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right, with translations in Chinese and Korean. She has also authored numerous other books and articles and partnered with in 2014 to launch six online interactive social cohort-based modules around Giving Voice to Values.

Mary is also Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, senior advisor with the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program and consultant on management education and leadership development.

Among numerous other awards, Gentile was named as one of the “Top Minds 2017” by ComplianceWeek, one of the 2015 “100 Most Influential in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere and one of the “Top Thought Leaders in Trust: 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners” by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. She was recently short-listed for the Thinkers50 2019 award for “Ideas Into Practice” (having also been short-listed in 2017). Giving Voice to Values also won the Bronze Medal in the 2017 Reimagine Education Ethical Leadership Awards.

From 1985-95, Gentile was faculty member and manager of case research at Harvard Business School and one of the principal architects of HBS’s Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Responsibility curriculum. She co-authored Can Ethics Be Taught? Perspectives, Challenges and Approaches at Harvard Business School and was content expert for the award-winning interactive CD-ROM, “Managing Across Differences” (HBS Publishing).

Gentile earned her B.A. from the College of William and Mary and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the State University of New York-Buffalo.

Richard Bents, Ph.D., specializes in leadership development, personal and organizational change and transformation. He has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategic and cultural change efforts with large organizations, including AT&T, Deloitte Hungary, ICI Films Americas, Lucent Technologies, Lawson Software, Magyar Telekom, MOL Hungary and Roche Pharma.

Rich assisted the CRT in developing our proprietary Decision Styles Inventory, a confidential, psychometric assessment for individuals enhancing their unique mastery of approaches to reaching decisions which engage stakeholders.

His approach centers on the issues of authority, responsibility and power, demonstrating how they can be exercised more fully, leading to personal accountability and healthy synergistic change. The result is a client better equipped to move into the future with clearer customer focus, more practical data-bases and better understanding of organizational theory and the values they wish to project.

Dr. Bents is recognized internationally as an expert on leadership development and evaluation research. He works with European partners in counseling business and civic leaders and training psychologists and consultants in leadership and organizational development. In addition, he directed the graduate education program at Hamline University, providing leadership and direction in teaching, curriculum planning, faculty selection and program evaluation.

Rich is the co-author of several books on personality and learning. Other writing and research topics include training and development, adult learning styles, decision-making and related topics.

Matt Bostrom, Ph.D., has served with distinction in law enforcement. He began his career with the St. Paul Police Department in 1982 and served as a Patrol Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Commander, Senior Commander, Chief of Staff and Assistant Chief of Operations. He was elected as Sheriff of Ramsey County, Minnesota, the state’s second most populous county.

Matt was twice nominated as National Sheriff of the Year and both times he was awarded the Medal of Merit from the National Sheriffs’ Association. Some of his accomplishments include reorganizing the department to improve effectiveness and efficiency by focusing on the vision, mission, values and beliefs; co-founding the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council; launching professional standards, comprehensive training and cooperative hiring initiatives; and engaging with the community to build relationships and prevent crime.

The hallmark of Matt’s service as Sheriff was a focus on increasing the level of trust between the community and police officers. Through listening to the community, he learned of their desire for police departments to hire for character and train for competence. In response, he launched a recruitment and hiring initiative that centered on selecting men and women who possessed four observable character traits: trustworthy, truthful, responsible and respectful. This initiative increased community trust and improved police officer work habits, including sick time usage, discipline and commendations.

In addition to graduating from the FBI National Academy, Matt received his B.S. from the University of Northwestern, M.A. from the University of Saint Thomas, D.P.A. from Hamline University and Ph.D. (criminology) at the University of Oxford.

The Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford invited Matt to develop a replicable model for increasing police trust by identifying and aligning the community’s values with those of the police. It is through the operationalization of these shared values in police officer recruitment, selection and training that can lead to increased trust between police officers and the communities they serve.

Matt has 10 years of experience as an Adjunct Professor at Saint Mary’s University, University of Northwestern and Hamline University. He co-authored Character-Based Police Officer Selection for the U.S. Department of Justice and his dissertation topics include The Influence of Higher Education on Police Officer Work Habits and Increasing Police Trust through Normative Alignment.